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Port Adelaide’s record 13-game winning streak is over, with Carlton putting an undermanned Power to the sword in a 50-point win.

The Blues were dominant from the outset, and kept their finals hopes alive with a 18.14 (122) to 10.12 (72) win at Marvel Stadium on Saturday.

The only downside in the crucial Carlton win was the loss of Harry McKay in the first term to what appeared to be a serious knee injury.

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But even without McKay in attack, the Blues flourished as Jack Silvagni and Jesse Motlop – who was a late replacement – each kicked four goals.

Charlie Curnow added three of his own in a brilliant display.


The Blues were forced into a late change with Matt Owies (calf tightness) replaced by Jesse Motlop after failing to get through the warm up. Paddy Dow remained the sub, while for Port, it was Ryan Burton.

Blue Harry McKay had the first clear shot on goal before Mitch McGovern tried to set sail from outside 50 – both shots pushed wide.

Players went end to end in the opening eight minutes with neither side able to find a clear target inside 50.

After repeat entries into attack, the dam wall finally broke when Port’s Xavier Duursma tried to push the ball across the line, but didn’t get enough on it.

Jack Silvagni pounced to kick the opener, and he had a second goal from the square moments later when he took a big contested grab and walked it in.

“The Carlton defence is way on top! We haven’t seen anything from Todd Marshall, Ollie Lord, Jeremy Finlayson,” Fox Footy’s Jason Dunstall said.

“They don’t look like getting it.

‘They are a little bit shaken by this Carlton start.”

The Power were lucky to snare a goal after almost 16 minutes when Todd Marshall snapped truly.

Jacob Weitering had attempted to knock it through but the footy bounced back into play – although replays showed it was a marginal call.

Carlton’s hopes took a hit when Harry McKay limped from the ground from a contest on the wing where he landed awkwardly.

Ollie Lord took a big grab but absolutely sprayed his set shot from 40m – not even scoring across the face of goal.

“That’s a horrible miss – that’s missed by a long way,” Dunstall lamented.

It took Port star Zak Butters to steer the ship and close his side to within nine points with a “ridiculous” goal.

But Port’s goal woes continued when the usually reliable Todd Marshall put his shot forward for a worst-of-the-day contender.

“That nearly missed his foot!” commentator Anthony Hudson laughed.

By quarter time it was Carlton leading 24-14.

The Blues were out of the blocks in the second as Jesse Motlop had three goals in the space of less than five minutes.

With the margin blown out to 40 points, Power coach Ken Hinkley had “serious issues” early in the second.

Lord again couldn’t find his radar in front of goal as Port’s attack end looked dysfunctional.

A dangerous tackle call on Jordan Boyd allowed Darcy Byrne-Jones to break Carlton’s run of five-straight goals.

But Marshall couldn’t convert his set shot moments later in a let-off for the Blues.

The Power stayed within touching distance thanks to Connor Rozee’s brilliant snap but lost Byrne-Jones to a concussion test as a result of that earlier tackle.

By half time, Port had wasted several opportunities to get back in it to trail 62-31.

The Power had to activate their sub to start the third with Byrne-Jones failing his concussion test and unable to return to the match.

Like the two quarters before, the Blues ran hot in the opening minutes with three quick goals to blow the margin out to 41 points.

But again another contentious free kick gifted the Power a shot on goal that Sam Powell-Pepper converted.

It was the Blues skipper Patrick Cripps who stepped up to halt any threat of a Port Adelaide comeback from an in-the-back free kick.

Both sides traded blows in the third before it was Carlton taking a 94-63 lead into the final change.

And the Blues had the hot start in the final term to put the match to bed.

Charlie Curnow added some late gloss to the win with a couple of big goals.

The margin blowing out to 50 points in a big boost for Carlton’s finals hopes as they now sit just percentage outside of the top eight.

THE 3-2-1 …


Carlton’s hopes of recording an upset win suffered a hammer blow when star forward Harry McKay was subbed off in the first quarter with a right knee injury.

McKay presented up the ground before landing awkwardly and immediately signalling for assistance.

He was helped from the ground and was subbed out not long after, activating Paddy Dow into the game.

“That’s a big story, that’s a huge out,” former Melbourne captain Garry Lyon said.

Hawthorn legend Jason Dunstall added: “If it’s a nasty knee injury, that could be the season done.”

But the loss didn’t seem to rattle Carlton and their attacking setup, as they slotted four goals in the opening four minutes of the second quarter.

“As a result of McKay getting injured, the matchup changes,” Lyon exclaimed.

“Now Aliir Aliir has to go to (Charlie) Curnow. He can’t now go and play off (as an interceptor).

“He’s going to have to play honest on Charlie Curnow and all of a sudden, the matchup with (Jack) Silvagni and (Port’s Tom) Jonas looks OK (for Carlton) and the ground balls are working.”

Lyon later added that even without McKay, the Blues have “looked as dangerous as they have”.

The unfortunate loss of the big man changed the complexion of Carlton’s forward line as the smaller players lined up for multiple goals.

And it was the likes of Silvagni who stepped up with a career-best haul of four goals.

“What happens when Harry McKay goes off the ground with a knee injury – one of two things can happen: it can suck the life out of the group or someone puts his hand up and says ‘I’ll take over it’. And this bloke’s done that,” Lyon praised of Silvagni.

Jesse Motlop (four goals), Matt Cottrell (two goals), Jack Martin (one goal) and David Cuningham (one goal) all got to work at the feet of Curnow which pleased coach Michael Voss.

“We had some great deep entries. Their high forwards are really concise of that 1v1 contest with Charlie so they come off in the air and then Charlie’s job is to just get it on the ground and the smalls can go to work,” Voss told Fox Footy at half time.

“They impacted the scoreboard which is great to see.”


It’s been a tough 2023 season for Port captain Tom Jonas.

Suspended back in Round 6 and then dropped three games later, the defender was forced to bide his time in the SANFL as his side went on a winning run without him.

But an injury to Trent McKenzie opened the door for Jonas’ return to the senior side.

Unfortunately for Jonas, he had a tough day at the office – firstly against Charlie Curnow before moving on to Jack Martin.

“It’s a big welcome back for Tommy Jonas,” Fox Footy’s Garry Lyon said.

“It’s a match up (Jonas and Curnow) that’s going to give (Port coach) Ken Hinkley and the team plenty of headaches because I don’t know what plan B is.”

While the injury to Blue Harry McKay freed Aliir Aliir up to take on Curnow instead, Jonas still struggled to find his feet.

“Tom Jonas hasn’t played footy in eight weeks,” Lyon said in commentary.

“They’ve got to be ruthless here Carlton. If he’s underdone … they should really accentuate the one-on-one (with Jonas).

“You want to isolate that and make Tom Jonas feel the loneliest man on the field.”

Port Adelaide Press Conference | 06:10

Hawthorn great Jason Dunstall said it was clear Jonas was off his best against the Blues.

“He was nervous in the air. He’s going to be put under severe pressure,” he said.

“Don’t underestimate how tough it is eight weeks out – the only player out there without a touch of the footy (midway through second term).

“He’s been attacked by a number of opponents with the ball coming in thick and fast.”

During the third term, Dunstall highlighted one Jonas moment that showed the skipper was down on confidence.

As the third man up, Jonas opted to spoil to the boundary rather than take the mark in front.

“When he was in form, he’d mark that,” Dunstall lamented.

“He didn’t have to worry about his man.”

And while the Power had issues in defence, they also struggled in attack without big man Charlie Dixon.

Jeremy Finlayson was silenced and youngster Ollie Lord had a shocker of a first half, with two clear miskicks that didn’t score and two behinds.


Jesse Motlop was heading into the grandstand when the call came he needed to suit up as a late replacement.

With Matt Owies suffering calf tightness in the final warm-up, Motlop had to rush to get ready.

But it didn’t stop the West Aussie junior from having a day out against one of the premiership contenders.

Motlop kicked three goals in the space of just five minutes in the second term in a blistering display.

“He didn’t even think he was playing!” commentator Anthony Hudson said.

“This is amazing!

“He should come in late every week.”

Motlop, whose father once played for Port Adelaide, put the Power to the sword with an impressive display that was “beautiful to watch”, according to Fox Footy’s Garry Lyon.

“You’ve got to take your opportunity when they present themselves,” Jason Dunstall added.

Carlton Press Conference | 10:35

“Nothing more impressive than a man who had to warm up just before they had to run out.

“Named as an emergency, you do a late warm up and all of a sudden … he’s getting himself into all the right positions.

“But most importantly, he’s making them count.

“He’s having an enormous impact.

“This has been huge.”

Even coach Michael Voss managed a laugh about the whole late call-up ordeal.

“I said to him, ‘I hope you didn’t have that meat pie before the game!’,” he laughed on Fox Footy.

Lyon said Motlop showed he had the talent to help balance the Blues’ attack end.

“For a small forward, this is what you want – to know where the ball is going,” he said.

“He’s upheld his end of the bargain.

“That whole five-goal run (where Motlop kicked three) was a joy to watch.”

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